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State and Local Government Law

Federalism

Erin Ryan

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Environmental Federalism's Tug Of War Within, Erin Ryan Jan 2015

Environmental Federalism's Tug Of War Within, Erin Ryan

Erin Ryan

Anyone paying attention has noticed that many of the most controversial issues in American governance—health care reform, marriage rights, immigration, drug law, and others—involve questions of federalism. The intensity of these disputes reflects inexorable pressure on all levels of government to meet the increasingly complicated challenges of governance in an ever more interconnected world, where the answers to jurisdictional questions are less and less obvious. Yet even as federalism dilemmas continue to erupt all from all corners, environmental law remains at the forefront of controversy, and it is likely to do so for some time. From mining to nuclear waste …


The Spending Power And Environmental Law After Sebelius, Erin Ryan Jan 2014

The Spending Power And Environmental Law After Sebelius, Erin Ryan

Erin Ryan

This article analyzes the Supreme Court’s new spending power doctrine and its impact on state-federal bargaining in programs of cooperative federalism, using the laboratory of environmental law. (It expands on the legal analysis in an Issue Brief originally published by the American Constitution Society on Oct. 1, 2013.) After the Supreme Court ruled in the highly charged Affordable Care Act case of 2012, National Federation of Independent Business vs. Sebelius, the political arena erupted in debate over the implications for the health reform initiative and, more generally, the reach of federal law. Analysts fixated on the decision’s dueling Commerce Clause …


Obamacare And Federalism's Tug Of War Within, Erin Ryan Jun 2012

Obamacare And Federalism's Tug Of War Within, Erin Ryan

Erin Ryan

This month, the Supreme Court will decide what some believe will be among the most important cases in the history of the institution. In the “Obamacare” cases, the Court considers whether the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) exceeds the boundaries of federal authority under the various provisions of the Constitution that establish the relationship between local and national governance. Its response will determine the fate of Congress’s efforts to grapple with the nation’s health care crisis, and perhaps other legislative responses to wicked regulatory problems like climate governance or education policy. Whichever way the gavel falls, the decisions will likely impact …


How The New Federalism Failed Katrina Victims, Erin Ryan Jan 2009

How The New Federalism Failed Katrina Victims, Erin Ryan

Erin Ryan

This book chapter explores the Katrina response effort to illustrate the governmental decision-making that operates in the shadow of the interpretive model of federalism in use by courts and policymakers. In the American federal system, citizens are of both the United States and the individual states in which they reside, and subject to the respective laws of each. The Constitution enumerates those powers under which the federal government is authorized to make law, and the states may regulate in any area not preempted by legitimate federal law. Yet the fact that Americans are citizens of two separate sovereigns does not …


Federalism At The Cathedral: Property Rules, Liability Rules, And Inalienability Rules In Tenth Amendment Infrastructure, Erin Ryan Jan 2009

Federalism At The Cathedral: Property Rules, Liability Rules, And Inalienability Rules In Tenth Amendment Infrastructure, Erin Ryan

Erin Ryan

As climate change, war in the Middle East, and the price of oil focus American determination to move beyond fossil fuels, nuclear power has resurfaced as a possible alternative. But energy reform efforts may be stalled by an unlikely policy deadlock stemming from a structural technicality in an aging Supreme Court decision: New York v. United States, which set forth the Tenth Amendment anti-commandeering rule and ushered in the New Federalism era in 1992. This dry technicality also poses ongoing regulatory obstacles in such critical interjurisdictional contexts as stormwater management, climate regulation, and disaster response. Such is the enormous power …


Federalism And The Tug Of War Within: Seeking Checks And Balance In The Interjurisdictional Gray Area, Erin Ryan Jan 2007

Federalism And The Tug Of War Within: Seeking Checks And Balance In The Interjurisdictional Gray Area, Erin Ryan

Erin Ryan

Federalism and the Tug of War Within explores tensions that arise among the underlying values of federalism when state or federal actors regulate within the “interjurisdictional gray area” that implicates both local and national concerns. Drawing examples from the failed response to Hurricane Katrina and other interjurisdictional problems to illustrate this conflict, the Article demonstrates how the trajectory set by the New Federalism’s “strict-separationist” model of dual sovereignty inhibits effective governance in these contexts. In addition to the anti-tyranny, pro-accountability, and localism-protective values of federalism, the Article identifies a problem-solving value inherent in the capacity requirement of American federalism’s subsidiarity …